The New Normal Weather

The New Normal Weather

ETC Staff monitor and collect data from several hundred weather stations – many on our own project sites.  Most every month we are recording data that we ultimately label, “[X] in recorded history” – [highest wind speed], [coldest temp], [hottest temp], [most rainfall in some period of time], … These extreme weather conditions are rapidly altering the averages … establishing new weather normals.  For our home office location – 15 years ago the average rainfall was only 2.4″ annually, yet today, the national weather bureau reports the average annual precipitation is now 6.92″.  In analyzing weather data for our orchards and our mineral operations sites, it is obvious that these new highs are happening at ever faster rates.  That is, we are looking at hundreds of hockey stick graphs for ever higher temperatures, ever higher winds and new record precipitation – historic weather records commonly breaking recent historic weather records. While we recognize that climate cycles are based on a long list of variables – CO2 and other gas levels in our atmosphere, sun spots, seismic activity, wobble of the earth’s rotation, even the position of our solar system within the Milky Way galaxy – many of our project sites have weather data dating back over 200 years.  Yet this massive amount of weather history is proving to be insufficient to enable us to predict our near future conditions.  Weather is critical to most every aspect of our business – orchards, mineral processing, transportation and aviation.  Our in-house meteorologist is now researching the ocean temperatures, ice cores, projected climate trends from university models covering eons, trying to support our...
Alaska is no longer Arctic

Alaska is no longer Arctic

If you’ve ever met an Alaskan, you know talking about disappeared sea ice and dead polar bears might get yawns or a semi-concerned shrugs.  A few degrees one way or the other has never been a significant impact to their lives. However, 2014 was one of the warmest years on record for America’s wintriest state. It was also the warmest for the Bering Sea and Anchorage’s warmest since 1926. In fact, for the first time in recorded history, the temperature never dropped below zero in Anchorage for a whole calendar year. This is a big deal as it resulted in a green Christmas – seriously Anchorage did not have any snow on the ground on Christmas Day and no one remembers that ever happening in the past. At a certain point, even the most die-hard Climate Change deniers will have to pay attention to these new normals.  In the southern states, there are projections of 135F within the coming decades. Crops don’t grow, gasoline powered cars simply do not run well and the energy to cool people down is not available to support the ever growing population.  It is logical to believe that people will begin to migrate north so Alaska will likely become quite crowded over the coming...
Climate Change

Climate Change

As we talk with our clients we frequently find ourselves in discussions revolving around the cause and effect of Climate Change. A random blogger entry states, “Science is not a popular poll”.  Science or more specifically for this discussion, the cause and effect in relationship to the accepted “Laws of Nature”, are in fact, what the majority of the well established scientific societies on the planet embrace and publish as science.  Most of the major scientific societies date back hundreds of years and while many have passed through their respected, “politically and religiously influenced periods”, by and large, they do embrace and publish “well researched findings” based on decades of scientific methodology and applied logic.  So, in fact, science is an extremely well honed popular poll. Most of the “Climate Change” articles we read are actually a series of secondary target arguments to support the general concept that the world is going through a radical climate change.  The main issue in the press being bantered by the political parties is if man’s activities are the cause of this radical climate change and if any behavioral modification can in fact mitigate this climate change. If you wish to delve into an emerging concept about global warming, ponder how long an oil filled space heater can maintain its temperature with no additional energy.  A large volume of dense fluid is an excellent temperature regulator.  The same general temperature control system is what has evolved in the human body and for all mammals.  The same holds true for much of life in our lakes, rivers and oceans, …, our entire global ecosystem. ...